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Some Tourism Businesses Finally Receive COVID-19 Relief Funds

After weeks of court battles and delays, some tourism relief grant beneficiaries will finally receive their money.

Government allocated R200 million to a fund to help tourism-related businesses affected by the lockdown and COVID-19.

But a court challenge put the disbursements on hold with two groups taking government to court over its criterion that beneficiaries be BBBEE compliant.

Since the R200 million tourism relief fund was announced, 15,000 applications have been received.

But the requirement that potential beneficiaries be BBBEE compliant ended up before the courts, putting the payouts on hold for several weeks.

The ministry’s Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota said incomplete relief fund applications had also slowed down the process.

“After all the court processes, we are happy to say that there has been movement; 6,000 of them (applications) have been assessed and we’ve paid out just over R1 million to all those.”

And for some who make their living in the tourism industry, like tour guide Clive de Bruyn, some of the procedures associated with applying are just not working for them.

“I’m just stuck in a loop where I’m trying to submit my documents but the link it sends to upload documents keeps failing,” he said.

The tourism industry has been particularly hit hard by the pandemic and the lockdown and it’s unlikely to see any kind of a return to normality before the nation hits level one.